#Morrisdoesthemarathon by Louise Morris - Supporter Care Officer
Louise Morris works in our Supporter Care Team. She’s frontline in working with our supporters, ensuring they have the best possible experience and support in their fundraising activities for us.
Next year she’s taking on a new personal challenge for herself – the London Marathon! And, as she trains and gets ready for this, we are going to follow her every step of the way.
So a little bit about me
I started working for Kidney Research UK in February 2015, and having always worked in sales and never for a charity before, this was a very new experience for me. I can honestly say I have never worked with a nicer, more motivated, hardworking and dedicated team of people; I am so proud to say I work here.
I work on the Supporter Care Team as a Supporter Care Officer. Part of my role is to engage and motivate all our challenge event participants, which includes those running in the London Marathon.
When I supported our participants for the London Marathon in 2017, I was inspired by the amount of hard work and commitment they put into fundraising and training. As you get to know them, you become part of their journey, their experience, you’re part of their reason to run. The London Marathon is so emotional but for our runners it’s so much more; it’s their story.
So why did I sign up?
After the London Marathon 2017 and seeing people go through various other physical challenges, I decided that if I was going to support our participants in the best possible way, it was only fair that I know what they have to go through – physically and mentally – and the marathon was the perfect choice! But above all of this I see, day in and day out, the sadness and impact that kidney-related illness has on individuals and families. So ultimately, by taking part, I will be raising funds that will go to vital research. Research that one day might find a cure for kidney disease.
With my fundraising target set at £2,100, I’m getting to understand the challenge of raising money, what’s easy and what’s hard. I’m learning how to be creative with my fundraising ideas and am using Kidney Research UK’s fundraising tools to help me do that. Learning all this to support my own challenge event, will hopefully be beneficial to our supporters in the future.
My training so far
I started my training in May, but having only ever really run about three miles at a time, I had to start from scratch. Running has never been a passion of mine and I have to say six months in, it’s still not…
However, after working my way up slowly with runs, gym sessions, swimming, dogged persistence and fantastic help from my running buddy, Paul Howland, I can now proudly say I am a half marathon finisher – in two hours 20 minutes!
I have also joined a local running club with has helped me a lot. With winter now upon us and night’s drawing in, running alone in the dark is not an option and I’ve got people I can run with. They give me hints and tips about training, and we have a great laugh and support one another.
I thought the training would be hard and tiring, but I think I under estimated it a little, and I am only half way there! I eat breathe and sleep the London Marathon; it’s all I talk about, think about and my legs always seem to be running!
But on the positive side and putting the exhaustion behind you, your body changes so quickly. I’ve become fitter and feel so much more healthy and refreshed.
I have had the best support from everyone around me. Debbie Howland is our Volunteer Programme Manager at Kidney Research UK and also a very good friend of mine, she has been an incredible encourager and is supporting me every step of the way.
Family, friends and work colleagues have also been amazing, giving me words of encouragement day in and day out. Plus, they’ve donated raffle prizes, items to sell at my car boot sales, baking me cakes or giving up their time to help me.
I’ve broken my £1,000 milestone through my Just Giving page and feel absolutely delighted about that. I am well over half way to my £2,100 target and every day is another opportunity to push ahead to get me to my goal.
What else have I done? I organised an office bake sale which raised over £246. On top of this I organised our office Halloween celebrations, raising £103. I did a car boot sale (£83) and did the unforgettable dressing up as a human hound and racing around a greyhound track, which raised £69. It’s amazing, all these little activities are real steps towards my fundraising goal, and I know that money will go towards research that will save people’s lives.
Louise Morris bake sale
Coming up, I have a Christmas raffle with some fabulous prizes donated by local companies. These include champagne afternoon tea for four at a local hotel, a beauty hamper and a golf day. I’m also planning a New Year bake sale, a raffle night at the Greyhound stadium and a bag pack at a local supermarket.
I am really pleased I decided to go on this journey with my marathon participants. It has really opened my eyes to what people have to go through, not only the training, but the fundraising as well. It really is hard work and it requires real guts and determination.
I know when I have done this, I will be able to help, advise, understand and encourage all our challenge events participants more effectively, making their journey so much better.
Each of them is doing this for a special reason and my special reason is them.
That for me makes this all worthwhile.
You can support Lou by visiting her fundraising page. Why not join #TEAMKIDNEY too, find out what challenges we have.